Coeur Mining-Jan 2024 10-minDuring Q4 2023, production at Coeur Mining’s Rochester silver and gold operation in Nevada reached record levels of approximately 1.3 million ounces (oz) of silver and 19,847 oz of gold. The company said that represented quarter-over-quarter increases of 120% and 345% and year-over-year increases of 38% and 71%, respectively. These higher production levels were driven by the initial surge of ounces produced from the new Stage 6 leach pad and new Merrill-Crowe process plant, which began delivering silver and gold ounces late in Q3 2023.

The company said commissioning of the new three-stage crushing circuit is progressing after the successful feed of initial material through the primary crusher during Q4 2023 and through the secondary crushers and truck loadout facility during January 2024. Commissioning of the pre-screen and tertiary crushers is expected to be completed in Q1 2024. Ramp-up activities at Rochester are anticipated to be completed during the first half of 2024. Once operating at full capacity, throughput levels are expected to average 32 million tons per year, which is approximately 2.5 times higher than historical levels, making Rochester one of the world’s largest open pit heap leach operations.

In addition, work on dismantling the legacy X-Pit crushing system began in Q4 2023 with the primary and secondary crushers now fully disassembled and the remainder of the system to be completed throughout the first half of 2024 to allow for access to higher-grade ore that is now being mined.

“Rochester’s Q4 2023 production represents the first glimpse of its full potential as an engine of significantly higher cash flow generation and as a linchpin of Coeur’s near-term growth profile,” said Mitch Krebs, president and CEO, Coeur Mining. “Just as importantly, Rochester now assumes a key position as America’s largest source of domestically produced and refined silver just as global demand is set to increase with the rapid proliferation of electrification technologies that require silver.”

The company expects lower production levels at Rochester during Q1 2024 as commissioning and ramp-up of the new crushing circuit takes place. Production levels at Rochester are anticipated to build throughout 2024 once the ramp-up in completed and the mine accesses the higher grades that were underneath the dismantled X-Pit crusher.